Submitted by RDEK

Emergency Preparedness Week is May 5 to 11 and the RDEK is encouraging residents to ready themselves and their families. 

This year’s theme is “using technology before, during and after emergencies,” and making sure that you are signed up for the regional Evacuation Notification System (ENS) is a large part of that preparation. 

“The notification system is only used for evacuation alerts or orders and has been implemented as an additional tool to help us get the word out as quickly as possible to affected areas when time is of the essence,” says RDEK communications manager Loree Duczek. 

The RDEK is urging residents to register soon by it is planning a region-wide test of the system on Friday, May 10 at 2 p.m. 

The ENS is powered by Voyent Alert! to keep residents and property owners informed in case of evacuation orders or alerts during critical events such as wildfires, floods or hazardous material incidents. The notification system is an important tool for residents to have since flooding and wildfire are two hazards in the East Kootenay. 

“It is important as well for those who have already signed up for the system, to make sure that their properties are pinned in the correct location. We have come across many residents who have signed up, only to discover later that they have not placed their pins in the right spot,” says Duczek. “This means they may be receiving an Evacuation Alert or Order when they don’t need to be, or more concerningly, not receiving those crucial notifications when they should be.” 

Those who would like to ensure that they have correctly located their property can do so through the website, app, or call the RDEK for help. For instructions on how to sign up for the service and receive notifications by phone or via a dedicated app, visit the emergency information page on 

In addition to the test of the ENS, the RDEK will be focusing its communications on how residents can help ensure they are prepared in the event they experience an emergency event. 

“From making an emergency kit, to having – and practising – a family escape plan, there are a number of simple, but important things each of us can do to be better prepared,” says Duczek. 

To access toolkits, how-to guides and more, visit

Saturday, May 4 is also Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, which is intended to encourage residents to learn about FireSmart and take steps to help reduce the risk of wildfire on their homes and properties.